Little Religious Atrocities are easy to forget.
It just occurred to me that it’s time to blog about all those “Little Religious Atrocities” (LRAs) that we read about every day but tend to forget quickly. They are too small to make a big issue of. After all, our attention is on the upcoming election, the economy, and assorted social and personal threats to our general happiness and security.
I bet you can’t even name a LRA, so I’ll list a few here. 1) Today I saw a video of a child singing before a Sunday congregation in a Southern Indiana church. The adults were applauding, cheering, and praising the four year old as he sang
“The bible’s right, somebody’s wrong.
The bible’s right, somebody’s wrong.
Ain’t no homos going gonna make it to heaven.”
The lyrics express pure contempt and hate so this child will have an excellent chance of following in his pastor’s steps, guiding a small evangelical church to God’s own truth.
2) Earlier this week a North Carolina Pastor preached a hateful message about gays. To the laughter and applause of his congregation he voiced his solution to the “gay problem”. He screamed to his congregation that gays should be locked up behind a huge electrified barbed wire fence where food would occasionally be dropped to them. They would be prevented from multiplying and would eventually die out. I can’t believe the likely-hood of gay men reproducing is very likely, but that’s what the pastor said. I kid you not.
3) Last week a report came in about the tragic death of a religious serpent handler who put the rattlesnake he had been handling on the ground and sat down next to it. The snake bit him and he subsequently died in the hospital. Why he, a man of such strong faith, was taken to a hospital was not explained. His father suffered the same fate. Apparently this happens often with the serpent handlers. They must be a sinful lot.
Want another? 4) Last month I noticed a news story about parents who had refused medical treatment for their son. They and their religious community prayed over the child who subsequently died of a readily curable ailment.
Shall I go on? OK, I will.
5) Have you seen TV healers? They call emotional, gullible Christians up to the stage, lay their hands on them, catch them as they swoon, and praise the Lord for the miracle of their recovery. The poor duped Christians throw their medications away, cease their medical care, chuck their crutches and make donations to the healer. Subsequently they have to repurchase their medications and crutches and resume their traditional medical treatment while the faith healer skips town with their donations. Religious healers justify their scam as being necessary in order for them to continue their minisry of spreading Christs words. They claim a little dishonesty is OK if it leads to saved souls.
6) No doubt you have heard of the Westboro Baptist church members who routinely picket funerals of gay military, with signs saying “God Hates Faggs”, and sends hate messages to all other religions.
7) Here is a LRA that just appeared on my computer screen today. It was hard to believe but true. Catholic Cardinal Dolan admits it is church policy to pay off pedophile priests to leave the church voluntarily and disappear. The Church’s concern is for the future of the priest. They need job training, medical care, etc. in their new civilian life. No mention was given about compensation for the victims of the priests.
8) I almost forgot the North Carolina pastor who recommended a good punch would help children tow the mark, depending on their weight. He means that small children sould not be punched as hard as largeer children. Crazy!
9) Then, there’s the Pastor from Kansas who spoke out saying homosexuality must be punished like we do pedophilia, polygamy, and incest. “Homosexuality must be recriminalized.” as in the past. 10) A spokesperson for the American Family Association agreed that homosexuality should be against the law and prosecuted.
11) Another Arizona Pastor, an associate of Glenn Beck, called for the outright killing of gays.
I could go on; there are many LRAs we never hear of. Some of them harm no one but the religious person, or bitten person, involved. Other LRAs affect innocent abused children and gullible adults and children in polygamous marriages. Let’s not forget 12) pharmacist’s refusal to fill prescriptions, and 13) doctors refusing to save a mother’s life if it would harm her unborn baby.
Comments on the Internet concerning LRAs are generally very critical and none are sympathetic. I wonder what percentage of the comments are from religious people. Fundamentalists, who accept a literal interpretation of the bible claim there are scriptures that justify the atrocities. But generally, Christians lie low in the face of public criticism. They just draw back into their shells until the bad publicity blows over. Do these radical religious people feel any guilt at what their fellow radicals say and do? Are they embarrassed? I don’t know. What’s your opinion?
And then, there are Significant Religious Atrocities, SRAs , like the murder of Abortion Clinic workers, but we won’t deal with them in this blog. The history of the Christianity and the other major religions is rife with SRA examples.
Finally, what if anything can be done about LRAs? Not much I’m afraid, except to blog about them, write Letters to the Editor, and tell your friends. Beware; LRAs have a way of growing into SRAs if ignored.